Discussion List FAQs

Welcome to the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) for Email Discussion Lists. Please review this FAQ before signing up for a Discussion List.

01. Why sign up for a Discussion List?

Signing up for a Discussion List, allows you to send and receive email communications with an entire group. After you sign up for a group you won't need to go to a Web site to communicate.  You can simply use your standard email program to communicate.

02. I forgot my password. How can I get it?

You can email yourself your password by accessing your personal configuration page, then clicking on the "Email My Password To Me" button. Detailed steps for accessing your personal configuration page are in the next item.

03. What are some customization features?

After you are signed up with a Discussion List, you can customize the following list features for yourself. The Discussion List Administrator recommends that you start with the default settings.

  • Unsubscribe yourself from the List
  • Email yourself your password, if you've forgotten it
  • Disable mail delivery
  • Set Digest Mode on or off (further explanation on How does "Digest" work?, on this Web page):
    • Digest Mode on: You will receive posts bundled together once a day, however some users have difficulty with the submissions of other Discussion List members whose software sends out html mail as well as plain text.
    • Digest Mode off: You will receive posts singly when they're sent.  Most members like this mode best.
  • Get MIME or Plain Text Digests - the Discussion List Administrator recommends  you keep as "Plain Text"
  • Receive posts you send to the list
  • Receive acknowledgement mail when you send mail to the list
  • Conceal yourself from subscriber list

04. After I receive an email from the Discussion List, how can I send a reply posting to the List?

After you receive the email ( in e.g., MS Outlook or Eudora), do one of the following:

  • If you are a Non-Digest user -  Click the Reply button, type your message, then click the Send button. Your message will get sent to the entire List (at e.g. "arm@asrmlists.org").
  • If you are a Digest user - Click the Reply button, type your message, change the Subject line to something meaningful, remove the unwanted postings in the body of the email, then click the Send button. Your message will get sent to the entire List (at e.g. "arm@asrmlists.org"). For a more instructions and explanation of Digest Mode please refer to How does "Digest" work?, on this Web page.

You can post to your list any time you wish by sending an email to [name of list]@asrmlists.org (e.g. arm@asrmlists.org).
VERY IMPORTANT NOTE: When you simply click Reply and send the message, the email will get sent to the entire List, not to the original poster. Be aware that your message will be read by all List members. 

05. How can I view archived messages?

All Discussion List messages are archived on the ASRM Web site. On the Email Discussion Lists page, click on your Discussion List, then click on the Archives link. 

NOTE: You cannot post an email to the List from within the Web page archives.

06. Is it OK to send private emails to List members and bypass posting to the List?

Although the List software allows users to send private emails to each other, that is not the purpose of the Email Discussion Lists.

07. I understand that the primary purpose of the Lists is for group discussion, however, I do need to send a private email.

After you receive the email ( in e.g., MS Outlook or Eudora), then do the following:

    1. Copy the original poster's email address and paste the email address into the TO field (overwrite the existing email address which would be something like "arm@asrmlists.org).
      NOTE: If you don't know how to do a "copy and paste" operation, then simply type the original poster's email address into the TO field.
    2. Type your message and click on the Send button. 

08. Is it OK if I conceal myself from the member list?

Within each users personal List configuration page, there is a setting called "Conceal yourself from subscriber list? Yes/No." In the interest of group openness, The Discussion List Administrator asks that List members leave this setting as NO. List Administrators will be reviewing the members' configuration settings and will set reset this parameter back to NO (i.e., to allow the members List email address to display with the list of members) if a member has incorrectly set it to YES.

09. Must I sign into the ASRM Web site to receive messages or can I receive them in my normal email?

After you sign up for an Email Discussion List on the ASRM Web site, then you can send and receive all your List postings by using your normal email package. You do not need to go back to the ASRM Web site to communicate with your List group.

10. Who has access to the Email Discussion List?

  • Can a non-ASRM member read an Email Discussion List?
    No, the public cannot access the Email Discussion Lists. In order to access the Email Discussion List area, a user must first sign into the ASRM Members-only area.
  • Can an ASRM member, not signed up for a List, read a List's archives?
    Yes, any ASRM member can read any of the List archives, even if they are not signed up for that List. This is allowable for the following reasons: a) ASRM want to foster group communication, and b) this allows an ASRM member to first review the List's messages before signing up for the List.
  • Can an ASRM member, not signed up for a List, post a message to a List?
    No, you must be a member of List to post an email message to that List. 

11. I get email at my work computer and my home computer. Can I post to the list from both computers?

There are two possibilities if you get your email on two computers:

  • If you have only one email address that you're using on your work and home computers, then you can post to a List with either computer.
  • However, if you have one email address on your work computer and a different email address on your home computer, then you would have to use the email address which you originally used when you signed up with the List. The List will only allow you to post with that email address. (Of course, you can review the Web page archives from any computer.) 

12. How does Digest Mode work? And how does Digest mode compare to non-digest mode?

When you sign up for a Discussion List, the default mode is called "Digest Mode." With Digest Mode, you will not receive emails during the day as people post to the List. Instead, you'll receive one "digest" email at the end of the day which contains all the posts, thus far, for that day. Here is a quick comparison chart between Digest and Non-Digest:

Non-Digest Mode vs. Digest Mode
Feature  Non-Digest Mode  Digest Mode
How often will I receive postings?Every time a member posts to the List.  Most members like this mode.Once a day.  The main drawback being that with the variety of email programs being used by List members, different email formatting can be a hassle to read through.
Can I reply to a particular message?Yes. When you reply to message, your post automatically gets put into the original message thread, in the List Archives.

Yes, you can reply to a particular message, but you will need to do the following:

1) Change the Subject line to something meaningful (it will say something like "ARM digest, Vol 1 #13 - 6 msgs")

2) In the body of the email, remove the postings that are not related to your message, and keep the posting that is related to your message.

In the List Archives, your posting will show as a new message thread.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of Digest versus Non-Digest?Non-Digest is helpful if:

a) you need to see the messages as they are posted (e.g., a discussion about a policy that needs to be resolved that day).

b) you want to be able to quickly reply to a particular message.

Digest is helpful if: 

a) you want to reduce the number of emails you receive.

b) the postings are not time-critical for you (e.g. perhaps you want to casually read everything at the end of the day.

Can I change between Digest and Non-Digest as need be?Yes, you can, however, on the day you change, you might receive extra emails.Yes, you can, however, on the day you change, you might receive extra emails. 

13. Why are Discussion Lists open to all ASRM members?

Discussion Lists open to all ASRM members, rather than only the List members, for a number of reasons:

a) This allows ASRM members to review the postings to see if it is a List they wish to sign up for.

b) This allows ASRM members to find answers/information in Lists they may not be signed up for (and may not wish to sign up for).

If you are concerned about ASRM members, who are not in your List, seeing your postings, please discuss this with your Discussion List Coordinator.

14. How are the Discussion Lists coordinated?

  •  Discussion List Coordinator - ASRM's Angelia Pitman (email: apitman@asrm.org) provides oversight of all the Lists, including: ensuring that they are working properly and within ASRM guidelines, and coordinating any relevant issues with ASRM administration. 
  • Discussion List Moderator - Each Discussion List has its own moderator, who has daily responsibilities such as: reviewing daily members' postings, handling problem postings, and instructing individual members on how to post to the List 

15. What are the posting guidelines?

  •  Posts should be professional and remain on topic.  Never send virus warnings, petitions or mass mailings to be "forwarded" by the List members.
  • Subject Lines in a post should be very specific so that List members will know what your post is about.  Subjects such as "problems" or "interesting information" do not tell List members much about your email.  Using a subject such as "ovum donor evaluation" or "referral needed for Virginia" will not only make your post more eye-catching, but also easier to search from the Archives.
  • The Discussion List Coordinator recommends that each person sign their email post with their full name so that all List members know who's posting to the List. Simply using a return email or a nickname is not always enlightening.  Additionally, you may want to add a signature file to the end of your emails so that other information is available (e.g. telephone number, Web site). All new email software programs allow users to create signature files which can be automatically appended to the end of each email.  
  • If you wish to send a short message, such as "thank you" to a specific List member, send it to the intended List member and not the entire List.
  • Commentary on the Discussion List does not represent official policies of the ASRM, any of its professional or special interest groups, or necessarily the views of all of its members.  Do no quote peer opinions as formal policy. Opinions expressed in posts or in posted research are those of the individual poster and do not necessarily reflect the policies of the ASRM.
  • Confidential information should never be disclosed on the Discussion List as the Internet is a public forum.  Please take care not to disclose confidential information that could lead to the identification of a client/patient, and remember to disclose only the information necessary to receive a helpful consultation.
  • Do not post copyrighted materials without the express permission of the author or publisher.  If you wish to recommend an article to the Discussion List, please either summarize the article or link to the article, do not post the full article to the List.  This is a violation of copyright.

16. How do I send an attachment (or add a file to the Discussion List Files Page)?

Attachments cannot be attached to email sent to the Discussion List.  If you receive an attachment from the Discussion List, ASRM strongly suggests that you delete it as it could be a virus.  It is the responsibility of the individual Discussion List members to install and update anti-virus software on their computers which are used to send and receive Discussion List posts.

As an alternative to attachments, if you wish to have a file made available to all members of the List, you can email the file to the ASRM Web Site Manager (apitman@asrm.org) and it will be placed on the Discussion List's Files page.  You can then announce to the List the addition of the file to the Files page.

17. Why am I getting a non-member message when I post to the Discussion List? I know I'm subscribed to this list!

The most common reason that members receive non-member posting messages is because they receive the posts at one email and reply to the Discussion List from a different email.  The Discussion List software will only recognize the email address which was originally entered when you subscribed to the list.  Posting from your originally designated email will solve this problem.  If you need to change your email address, please see 18. Changing Your Email - Unsubscribing and Resubscribing to the Discussion List.

18. Changing Your Email Address - Unsubscribing and Resubscribing to the Discussion List

To change your email address, go to the Discussion List page and choose your list.  Then go down to the "Subscribers" section and put in your email address (the one you subscribed to the Discussion List with originally) and press the Edit Options button.  Go to the "Unsubscribing" section and put in your password.  You are now unsubscribed from the list and will no longer receive email posts to your old email address.

Now Re-subscribe to the Discussion List with your new email address.  Go back to the Discussion List page  and after choosing your list, under the "Subscribing to" section put in the NEW email address which you want the posts to go to.  You will also need to put in your password twice and hit the Submit button.  You are now re-subscribed to the Discussion List.

19. How can I delete an item from the Discussion List archive?

Deletion of posts from the Discussion List archive will incur a cost. To have a message deleted, please contact the owner of the list as they will need to approve the cost of the deletion. The owner of the list may ask the individual poster to pay for the cost of the deletion if they feel that the archived post does not concern the Discussion List as a whole. 


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